Ex-Im Bank: The Facts

 President Obama was against Ex-Im before he figured out how to use it for political and financial gain.
(This is a third party video.)

This week, there has been discussion from the Republican candidate, as well as the Democratic candidate, about the Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization Act. As expected, both sides are crafting their talking points to make the other side look bad, while both essentially support the Ex-Im Bank.

What the American people aren’t seeing here, are facts.


Fact: The program was first started by an Executive Order from FDR in 1934, as a foreign policy tool to allow FDR to provide aid to Stalin in the Soviet Union, against Germany. Then it immediately expanded to a second Ex-Im Bank to do business with Cuba. With no Congressional oversight. By the late 1930’s our government was using Ex-Im to assist China, against Japan.

Fact: In 1945, Congress turned it into an independent agency called The Ex-Im Bank.

Fact: Ex-Im is, and always has been, a political tool to help foreign allies, not American businesses.

Fact: Many governments have their own version of an Ex-Im Bank.

Fact: 80% of program participants nationwide are small businesses.

Fact: Only 2% of all US exports participate in the Ex-Im Bank programs (98% of exporters do not rely on it for exporting).

Fact: In Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, there are only 9 businesses that are participating in Ex-Im Bank programs.

Fact: 8 of those are listed as small businesses.

Fact: One is listed as minority owned.

Fact: In 2013-2014 Ex-Im Bank directly supported more than $27,000,000 in exports from our district.

Fact: The top 3 export destinations from the Third District were The Netherlands, Canada and The UK.

Fact: If not re-authorized by September 30th, 2014, the bank’s charter will expire and the program will end.


What Americans are not aware of is the huge sums of money given to Congress, the Senate and even the President VIA campaign contributions directly from Ex-Im Bank employees as well as the major corporations that directly benefit from Ex-Im, such as Boeing. In the past 7 years, Barack Obama has taken in tens of thousands of dollars in contributions, which explains why he suddenly reversed course on Ex-Im. Obama initially opposed Ex-Im, but as soon as the money started rolling in, he supported them. Our research on these donations using opensecrets.org indicates that more than 90% of Ex-Im related contributions flow directly into the hands of Democrats – and it is a lot of money. Naturally, Democrats will vote in favor of Ex-Im Bank since they have a financial interest in doing so.

In the 2008 election cycle Barack Obama took in 436 different donations from Boeing, including close to $10,000 from Stanley Roth, who was VP of Boeing’s “Government Relations” department.


Ex-Im Bank officials are currently under investigation for bribery. One even pleaded the 5th.

Ex-Im Bank takes your money, gives it to private businesses, to help other countries – and leaves you on the hook for the risk.

Ex-Im Bank customers immediately become pawns in a political game that changes every few years. each time Ex-Im must be reauthorized.

Ex-Im Bank does business with private US based companies who willingly choose to engage in risky transactions in unstable countries, which is why, many times, there are no private sector alternatives to turn to for help.

Ex-Im Bank gives millions of dollars in loans to the governments of unstable countries so that US based companies can sell their goods to those countries. This is taxpayer money being used as a form of foreign aid.

Ex-Im Bank has never been a small business based program, it was originally developed as a political tool to assist political allies, and it is still being used for that purpose today.

Ex-Im Bank plays politics when it chooses which governments and countries it will assist, and which it will not.

Ex-Im has been sued repeatedly for environmental abuses all over the world.

Ex-Im funded such ventures like Solyndra Solar, which went belly up on the taxpayer dime.

Ex-Im Bank transactions have favored Washington state by giving them 43% of Ex-Im business while our own state gets less than 2%.

As with most things government related, a program starts out for one purpose, and then with every reauthorization, it morphs into something else entirely. The rules change often because of politics, and participating businesses are subjected to those new rules, although their business model may have been based on the original rules.

According to the GAO, the CBO and the Inspector General of Ex-Im, Ex-Im risks are grossly understated and the benefits are overstated. The accounting methods used by Ex-Im will soon lead to the same problems that led taxpayers to be on the hook for  the TARP Wall Street bailouts.

Although nearly all Democrats vote in favor of it and some Republicans have historically voted in favor of it, the abuse of Ex-Im by large corporations is staggering. Large, profitable corporations should have no right to parlay taxpayer money and taxpayer risk into profit for their businesses. Some of the beneficiaries of Ex-Im are Boeing, Halliburton, Enron, and we even financed nuclear power for China.

While ExIm is promoted as being beneficial to business, this is not universally so.  Witness the Delta lawsuit attempting to stop Ex-Im from subsidizing sales of Boeing aircraft to its foreign competitors.  Artificially low interest rates given the foreign companies gives them a competitive advantage over US based airlines which receive no such subsidies, making it harder for US businesses to compete.


Being mindful that businesses large and small, as well as the American taxpayers, have a major stake in the Ex-Im Bank programs, it would be irresponsible to suggest that we just get rid of it. If we were to pull the plug on it tomorrow, what would happen to all the outstanding debt and guarantees? What would happen to the business contracts that were set up as a result of participating in Ex-Im? What would happen to the over 200,000 employees who are employed because of Ex-Im Bank participation?

Ken will:

Work to phase out Ex-Im Bank over a responsible and thoughtful period of time.

Initiate amendments which would prevent taxpayer funds going directly to foreign governments.

Set time limits on how long a private business can rely on Ex-Im Bank loans and subsidies (welfare).

Not allow large corporations to use Ex-Im funding as a form of corporate welfare.

Work to reduce other federal burdens on businesses large and small, so they will not need to rely on Ex-Im Bank funding.

Make sure that if any business wishes to willingly do business with another country that is unstable or risky, that those businesses take that risk and not ask Americans to assume the risk for them.

Make sure that ending the Ex-Im Bank will not leave taxpayers on the hook for billions in outstanding debt.

Van Doren Campaign Reveals The Truth

Ken Van Doren and Family

We only address this issue because it has come up often in the past 3 days.

As you can imagine, the past few days since Ken announced his write in candidacy as an Independent, have been busy, and interesting! Many people have had numerous questions, and yes, accusations – that is only natural. This kind of situation doesn’t happen often in our district. We welcome these questions, and thank you for your time!

There is an important myth that the Van Doren campaign wishes to dispel – The Republican Party keeps losing because of third parties (or blacks, or latinos, or gays, or women, etc).

Here is the truth:

Col. Ray Boland, who ran for this seat in 2012, lost. There were only two candidates running. Boland and Kind. Who did the Republican Party blame that year?

In 2010, Dan Kapanke lost – and there was someone else running, however, that person did not get enough votes to make any difference in Kapanke’s outcome. Kapanke lost by more votes than the third party candidate received.

In other words, both Republicans easily lost on their own.
This is not a Republican district.

Republicans have tried to beat Congressman Ron Kind for almost TWENTY years now, and have not been successful. You would think the party leadership would finally change their strategy, but instead, they prefer to spend their resources attacking and alienating people who tried to be part of the party – people like Ken Van Doren.

This idea that Ken will somehow “steal” votes from the Republican Party is just absurd.

The idea that the Republican Party or Tony Kurtz “owns” you or your vote is equally absurd.

The Republican Party needs to accept responsibility for all their losses and stop blaming others. Stop blaming blacks, stop blaming latinos, stop blaming third parties, stop blaming women voters, stop blaming Libertarians, stop blaming independents.

If the party wants to keep pushing candidates who are (choose one/all) wishy-washy, who are not conservative, who do not know the issues, who do not have a platform or who are on the wrong side of the issues – they can expect to continue to suffer loss after loss, especially in this district, which is even MORE democrat/independent than it was back when Kapanke was defeated. Blame Ken Van Doren? I don’t think so.

How many times did they tell us “Only Tommy Thompson can win!” or “Only Mitt Romney can win!”. Now it will be “Only Tony Kurtz can win!”.

Please, Republican Party, tell us in detail how Tony Kurtz can win. But don’t worry, your members won’t bother to ask. On November 5th, you can just say it’s Ken Van Doren’s fault, and then repeat the same mistakes again in 2016.

We are not voting for Homecoming King here, we are supposed to be voting for someone who has the ability and the knowledge and the integrity to do what is right in Washington.

If you want to have a serious, adult discussion about the issues, Ken Van Doren is your man – plain and simple.

However, if you only want to see cute pictures of parades and picnics, and listen to a man who is living out his midlife crisis and obsessing over flying helicopters 10-30 years ago, your support of Tony Kurtz is well warranted.

Republican Party leadership and their followers did a bang up job of portraying Ken Van Doren as anti-military when Ken first mentioned that the Kurtz campaign is running on empty, but let’s all remember – Ken comes from a military family, including his own father and son, and Ken was endorsed by several vets and more keep supporting him. Also, John McCain used to serve in the military too, but look how he turned out, with Republicans like him – who needs Democrats? McCain’s brand of “conservatism” is not acceptable to most true conservatives.

It’s an old trick – if you say anything at all about Obama, you’re a racist! If you say anything at all about a woman candidate, you’re a sexist. If you say anything at all about someone who was in the service, you’re anti-military.

The guy that the Republican party wants you to coalesce around, Tony Kurtz, refused to debate against two senior citizens on WPR, has no clue about the issues other than his few meager talking points, but they want you to believe Kurtz is somehow equipped to take on a sitting Congressman who has more than a million dollars – when Tony’s own campaign is financially upside down to the extent that he had to lie about his fundraising?

Kurtz supports amnesty and giving citizenship to illegal aliens who crossed our borders illegally (there are millions of them!). Did we not learn from our mistakes in 1986? Kurtz has been silent on the issue of Common Core – and quite frankly, most every other issue that is important to the American people. Republicans have only themselves to blame if they continue voting for people like this. They have NO right to blame Ken Van Doren.

Think about this – are we really supposed to believe that Kurtz is a better candidate than Kapanke or Boland, both whom were far more qualified for the job? They both got beat! The fact is, the numbers tell us that this district will NOT elect anyone with an R behind their name.

The real reason to coalesce around Kurtz is to keep the many high priced Republican operatives (“consultants”) in business. It didn’t take long for them to figure out that Kurtz is willing to shell out more than $13,000 a month out of his own pocket – to keep hearing them tell him he is going to win.

Read the election numbers, county by county as we did. You’ll see it looks obvious that the congressional race was overvoted as compared to other Republican races – that confirms exactly what we heard right before the primary – Democrats and Ron Kind supporters came out to vote for who they knew would be easiest to beat in November. In La Crosse county alone, 500 more people voted for Republican congress than voted for Republican treasurer. On the same ballot! More people voted for Republican congress than voted for Scott Walker and AG, LG and SOS. Democrats have been playing this game for years.

People have said, but Ken lost the primary! What those same people won’t tell you is that those primaries are PARTISAN – you MUST vote for a D or an R, and that is something many independents just won’t do. The primary turn out in the third district was dismal – people just didn’t care. Republicans just didn’t care – because if you have lived here long enough, you know the chances of an R winning in November are next to impossible.

In closing, we want you to know, that on election night, both Ken and Ken’s campaign staff sent our congrats to the Kurtz campaign, VIA text (it was late at night!) and through the Third District Chairman (and we posted it on Ken’s Facebook page that evening) – Kurtz never once said thanks to any of us. Ken was not even acknowledged. Kurtz had several days between the primary and the Unity Breakfast to acknowledge our congratulations, but he didn’t. If there is anything worse than a “sore loser” it is a “sore winner”.

Considering Kurtz’s position on important issues, and his lack of a position on just about everything else, how could Ken support him post-primary? He couldn’t, although Ken made clear he would have supported Karen Mueller. Ken is a man of principle, not hyper-partisanship and phony platitudes, which is part of what led to Ken’s resignation from the party – not sour grapes.

Then, on Monday, August 18th, nearly a week after the primary, Ken reregistered his campaign and is running as an Independent in November.

Ken isn’t stealing your 13,000 primary votes. He is bringing out independents and those who care about the issues.

There are more than 390,000 registered voters in THIS district who did not vote for Tony Kurtz on August 12th. Those are the people Ken will be reaching out to between now and November.

If you are a person who cares about this country and you want someone who will stand up for us, please consider supporting Ken Van Doren for Congress on November 4th. He is not backing down and here at Team Van Doren, we are gearing up for the battle.

Now, back to the serious issues our country is facing…

If you care about the issues, we thank you for that!

If you care about the issues, Ken Van Doren wants you on board!





Educators are starting to realize that our federal government does not trust them. They are tired of the interference. We must treat our nation’s educators as professionals. We must allow teachers to control their classrooms and their curriculum. We must allow them to do the job that they were hired to do – teach.

Ken believes that we must get rid of teaching to the test and Common Core.

The new NEA President, Lily Eskelsen García, agrees. She was quoted as saying – “Teachers, administrators and everybody else involved should ignore bad school reform policy and do “the right thing” for kids. “Don’t you dare,” she said, ” let someone tell you not to do that Shakespeare play because it’s not on the achievement tests. Whether they [reformers] have sinister motives or misguided honest motives, we should say, ‘We are not going to listen to you anymore. We are going to do what’s right.’”

One-size-fits-all central planning simply does not work.

For Ken, it really is all about the children, that’s why he supports our educators and he also supports home school parents.

In many cases, homeschooling families must forgo the second income of one parent, as well as incur the costs of paying for textbooks, computers, and other school supplies.

And with combined taxes taking almost 50 percent of the average family’s income, there is little left over for low and middle-class parents to consider other educational opportunities.

Ken wants parents to have the freedom to choose the best educational options for their children, and he is commited to ensuring homeschooling remains a practical alternative for American families.

Ken will vote against any legislation that encroaches on homeschooling parents’ rights.


Van Doren Response About USTR


AUGUST 11th, 2014


MELROSE, WI: Earlier today, Ken Van Doren attended the USTR meeting in Melrose, Wisconsin which was a non-partisan event to help farmers. There were many people there and both sides of the aisle were well represented.

Shortly after the Van Doren campaign put out a press release regarding the event, the Tony Kurtz campaign stated that Kurtz refused to go because he didn’t like Congressman Ron Kind’s policies.

The event was not a Ron Kind event.

The event was for farmers who need help and who are interested in promoting trade. It was a roundtable event and tour. You cannot make things happen if you refuse to take a seat at the table when it is offered to you.

In a farm district, you go to events that will help farmers, events where you can get YOUR opinions heard and everyone brings ideas to the table for the benefit of all.

The event was a great opportunity to hear farmers from all over the region speak about the issues that matter most to them.

Ken Van Doren understands that his $174,000.00 a year congressional salary is paid by ALL people from ALL parties, not just one. He will do his best to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.


Thank you!

Thank you!

Van Doren Attends USTR Farm and Ag Talks

Steven Kling of Kling Dairy Farms in Taylor, with Ken Van Doren.
Steven Kling of Kling Dairy Farms in Taylor, with Ken Van Doren.

Steven Kling of Kling Dairy Farms in Taylor, with Ken Van Doren on August 11th, 2014


MELROSE, WI: Today, incumbent Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI 3) and Ken Van Doren attended an Ag and Farm trade meeting. Other congressional candidates did not attend.

“We must be willing to do whatever it takes to help Wisconsinites, even if we sometimes disagree with the other side of the aisle. It is Wisconsin that matters, not the political games in Washington.” said Ken Van Doren, who is running against Ron Kind in November.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman was there to showcase the major contributions that Wisconsin makes to the United States economy through exporting.

In 2013, tens of thousands of jobs were supported by Wisconsin exports. Wisconsin is the second-largest exporter of dairy in the United States. And in 2012, Wisconsin exported $724 million worth of dairy products – 14% of all U.S. total dairy exports.

There was a roundtable with local farmers and agriculture community leaders to discuss how trade policy can unlock new opportunities for Wisconsin’s economy, including dairy farmers.

Ambassador Froman discussed how Wisconsin stands to gain from U.S. trade agenda, especially through unprecedented trade deals that are being negotiated with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the European Union. We want our trade agenda to break down barriers to four of Wisconsin’s top export markets: Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union.


WPR Wisconsin Public Radio Debate

The forum will be taped on July 29th at 2:00pm, and will be broadcast on July 31st at 10:00am on 90.3 WHLA .

Meet and Greet for Ken Van Doren

July 22, 2014  6 – 8 pm
Jack Pine Saloon
699 S Main Street
Adams, WI
Everyone Welcome
$3.00 Per Person

RSVP Appreciated by 7/19/14


Video – Unreasonable Searches and Seizures – Ken Van Doren for Congress


Ken Van Doren is the only Congressional candidate in Wisconsin’s Third District who will obey the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment – which is our protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

This video is from January 2014 on the Old Bob Show.

Full text of the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Ken needs your support now for his August 12th primary. Thank you!

Thank you!


Parade in Black River Falls

Ken will be in the parade in Black River Falls. We need more walkers!

Parade in Amherst

Join Ken at the parade in Amherst at noon. Walkers need to arrive early.

Video – Congressman Ron Kind: More Spying and More Wars.

Ken with Mr. and Mrs. Larry Gamble

Ron Kind: More Spying and More Wars. Ken Van Doren for Congress – Wisconsin

This video was made for Ken by some of his supporters! Thank you!

Ken needs your support now for his August 12th primary. Thank you!

Thank you!


Republicans Repeatedly Attack Van Doren

July 15th, 2014

A staffer from 7th District Congressman Sean Duffy’s office, Jon Lanctin, “leaked” a private email that was written by Congressional candidate, Ken Van Doren, regarding opponent, Tony Kurtz, which then ended up on a political blog.

The email addresses serious issues about the Kurtz campaign – including the fact that Kurtz has no political track record here in Wisconsin, and that Kurtz has taken over eleven thousand dollars in taxpayer paid subsidies (welfare) for his farm.

It is sad that the writer ignores these issues, and instead, takes cheap shots at Ken’s age several times.

The writer then attempts to portray Ken as anti-military, completely ignoring that some of Ken’s biggest supporters, donors and volunteers are current and former military. Ken’s own father and son are proud vets.

Like Ken, they understand what is behind much of our “defense” spending – campaign contributions and crony capitalism.

Ken opposes this, and always has. This has never been a secret.

“We do not honor our military by sending our troops off to fight never-ending, no-win wars.” said Van Doren.

We should never put our brave men and women in harm’s way just so politicians can rake in more campaign donations and favors.

This hit piece on Ken is par for the course from GOP insiders. Recently, the Van Doren campaign received emails from Third District Chairman, Brian Westrate, suggesting that Ken created a video slamming Kurtz for supporting amnesty and the legalization of illegal aliens. Westrate sent the video to the Van Doren campaign, as well as other Republicans, in an email.

The video shows Kurtz during a taped interview with Wisconsin Eye, eagerly stating “You’d better believe” he would give citizenship to the millions of illegal aliens who crossed our borders illegally.

Ken is keeping his campaign focused on what matters – the people of Wisconsin’s Third Congressional district.

Catfish Days in Trempeleau

Ken will be at Catfish Days again, on Sunday!

Buffalo County Picnic and Debate

Catfish Days in Trempeleau

Ken will be at Catfish Days in Trempeleau today, during the day.

Get Updates!

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: (#803) Some of the aliases you requested do not exist: KenVanDorenforCongress
Type: OAuthException
Code: 803
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.